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FT8 for Blind Hams


AK4AO
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I have a couple blind ham friends who are interested in trying FT8 and possibly other modes offered by the WSJT-X software package. One of these friends recently discovered a logging program called QLog that includes support for the visually impaired.  Qlog works with WSJT-X and provides a command set and audio prompts.  It does not require a screen reader such as JAWS.  There are commands, for example, to search for an open audio frequency, call CQ, call a specific station, or call any station that is calling CQ and passes a test defined by filters such as DX, new state, never worked before, etc.  Setup is best done with the help of a sighted assistant, as several parameters need to be set in QLog, WSJT-X, the rig used for operations, and possibly within the operating system on the computer.  

The QLog program and setup instructions can be obtained by joining the QLogusers group on the groups.io web site and navigating to the Files section.  Among the files is a detailed description of the setup steps that the sighted assistant should help perform.  

One of my friends made his first few QSOs this past week.  I'm still working on setup with the other.  The assistive features in QLog seem to be well designed and effective, but, of course, there is a learning curve.

As of this date (November, 2019) there seems to be one significant item not covered in the documentation.  QLog will work properly when calling CQ only if the RRR message, and not RR73 is sent.  The sighted assistant may need to set up WSJT-X in this mode via a double left click on the TX4 button.

 

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